Slowing gait speed precedes cognitive decline by several years

Alzheimers Dement. 2022 Sep;18(9):1667-1676. doi: 10.1002/alz.12537. Epub 2022 Feb 9.


Introduction: In this longitudinal study, we aimed to examine if slowing gait speed preceded cognitive decline and correlated with brain amyloidosis.

Methods: The sample (n = 287) was derived from the Gothenburg H70 Birth Cohort Studies, with follow-ups between 2000 and 2015. Gait speed was measured by indoor walk, and cognition using the Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) score. All participants had CDR = 0 at baseline. Some participants had data on cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) amyloid beta (Aβ)1-42 concentrations at the 2009 examination.

Results: Gait speed for participants who worsened in CDR score during follow-up was slower at most examinations. Baseline gait speed could significantly predict CDR change from baseline to follow-up. Subjects with pathological CSF Aβ1- 42 concentrations at the 2009 visit had lost more gait speed compared to previous examinations.

Discussion: Our results indicate that gait speed decline precedes cognitive decline, is linked to Alzheimer's pathology, and might be used for early detection of increased risk for dementia development.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; Aβ42; CSF; cognitive decline; gait; motor function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease* / pathology
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Biomarkers / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Cognitive Dysfunction* / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Peptide Fragments / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Walking Speed


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Biomarkers
  • Peptide Fragments